Odd that MAA is dropping in front of the dividend - it usually rises, so something pretty significant must be spooking the market. REITs in general are off today.
The only thing I can see is mortgage rates are going lower...which, I guess, you could (over)worry that more apartment tenants will be able to buy homes - even though that seems more than offset by the sluggish economy, not to mention the recent loss of trillions of dollars of savings that have been lost in the stock market.
Anyway, the losses are spread over all classes of REITs today, so I am taking this as a good buying opportunity for trading back into this issue, in front of the dividend. My guess is you can pick up a point and a half over the next two weeks here.
IMOP, you are making a smart move. I believe today's drop in reit prices was caused by the news that reit insiders were selling much more than they have been buying. I don't believe this is true of MAA. Just enjoy that you didn't add to your position yesterday like I did. Timing has never been my strong suit but I believe I'm OK for the long pull.
REITs in general are continuing to drop. They had a good run for a year and half, while most of the market was flat or down; now the market is letting the air of the REIT tire. I would wait for REITs to hit bottom and start moving up again before doing any major buying. But I have been nibbling.